Second Amendment Resurgence

Bob Barr

12/18/2013 12:01:00 AM - Bob Barr

John Cooke holds two 30-round magazines in his hands. In one hand is a 30-round magazine purchased before July 1st, when Colorado’s new gun laws took effect and banned purchases of magazines larger than 15-rounds. In his other hand is a 30-round magazine that “maybe” (Cooke is not getting into specifics) was purchased after the deadline. Two magazines, virtually identical in every aspect, except one is legal and the other is not. Cooke, who serves as Sheriff of Colorado’s Weld County, says that’s exactly his point. His deputies cannot enforce the law if the law is so vague as to make it practically impossible to distinguish what’s legal from what is illegal. Therefore, Cooke, along with all but seven of Colorado’s 62 elected Sheriffs, are suing to block the law.

Last Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. In the year since a lone deranged individual took the lives of 20 children and six adults, more than 1,500 gun bills have been considered by state legislatures across the country. According to USA Today, 109 of these measures became law; adding to President Obama’s recent 23 Executive actions related to control of firearms. Yet, to the dismay of Democrats, many of the laws are having the opposite effect

Citizens are rebelling, and Democrats are losing their jobs.

In Colorado, for example, two elected Democrats already have been recalled as a direct result of their support of the new gun ban; and a third has resigned to avoid recall. The recall votes were successful despite gun control organizations (including one run by outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) outspending Second Amendment activists seven-to-one. Even tens of millions of dollars was not enough to save Democrats from pro-gun constituents infuriated with the unconstitutional measures.

Even when not successful, recall elections are sending a loud message. In Exeter, Rhode Island, four of the five town council members nearly faced a similar fate last week as the town decided whether to recall the officials for anti-Second Amendment votes.

The gun industry is fighting back against anti-gun laws, as well. Earlier this year, I wrote about how gun manufactures were taking stands against new gun laws in their home states. Olympic Arms, for example, refused to sell recently-banned items to police and government officials, so long as private citizens were prohibited from possessing the same items. Other companies have moved their business operations to more gun-friendly states. PTR Industries left Connecticut for South Carolina, taking 40 jobs with it. “They are not feeling loved right now in Connecticut,” South Carolina State Representative Alan Clemmons, who helped bring PTR to the Carolinas, told the New York Times; adding, “we’re delighted to have them.”

Dozens of other gun manufacturers are considering similar moves, enticed by offers from pro-gun governors -- largely from southern states -- who welcome the added jobs and revenues. According to the NRA, Connecticut-based Stag Arms CEO Mark Malkowski said he had “about one hundred offers” to relocate to a new state.

Congressional Democrats are using their state colleagues as the canary in the coalmine for gun legislation, and the results are not positive for them. This is perhaps why, following last week’s school shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado that was miraculously limited in its scope, Democrats have remained largely silent. This differs from previous shooting tragedies after which gun control advocates began sending fundraising emails even before the crime scenes were fully secure.

The Arapahoe shooter took his own life within two minutes of starting his rampage, and after being cornered by an armed guard placed at the school -- a safety measure proposed by the NRA following the Newtown shooting. Even though the proposal for having trained and armed personnel at schools was loudly derided by the Left, having an armed guard at the school in Arapahoe saved lives.

Citizens and legislators at all levels of government, in conjunction with firearms retailers and manufacturers, are fighting back as never before against the relentless push by gun control advocates to infringe our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms. This is good news for all Americans, whether they be gun owners or not. Standing up for the Bill of Rights is never wrong.